Photo of Sam Peckinpah Sam Peckinpah

Director Sam Peckinpah was born Feb. 21, 1925, in Fresno, Calif. The former Marine began his career in television, writing scripts for "Gunsmoke" and "Zane Grey Theater." His first film directing effort, The Deadly Companions, premiered in 1961, but it wasn't until The Wild Bunch (considered incredibly violent for the time) came out in 1969 that Peckinpah earned the nickname "Bloody Sam."

An intense personality with an abrasive manner, Peckinpah continued to stir up controversy with Straw Dogs (1971), going on to direct Steve McQueen in The Getaway the following year. But not all his films were marked by a high body count, as evidenced in the Western comedies The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) and Junior Bonner (1972).

Before his death from a stroke in 1984, Peckinpah also helmed Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974).

Sam Peckinpah in The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch

1969 R

Director Sam Peckinpah's brilliant 1969 Western epic tells the story of a bunch of aging outlaws, led by Pike Bishop (William Holden), whose botched plans to pull off one last job forces them to collude with a crooked Mexican general (Emilio Fernández) -- leading to ugly bloodshed. Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson and Jaime Sánchez co-star in this special edition, which includes never-before-seen outtakes and three exclusive documentaries.

  • Sam Peckinpah in The Getaway The Getaway
  • Sam Peckinpah in Straw Dogs Straw Dogs
  • Sam Peckinpah in Cross of Iron Cross of Iron
  • Sam Peckinpah in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
  • Sam Peckinpah in Ride the High Country Ride the High Country
  • Sam Peckinpah in Major Dundee: The Extended Version Major Dundee: The Extended Version
  • Sam Peckinpah in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
  • Sam Peckinpah in Convoy Convoy
  • Sam Peckinpah in The Deadly Companions The Deadly Companions
  • Sam Peckinpah in The Rifleman The Rifleman
  • Sam Peckinpah in The Osterman Weekend The Osterman Weekend